Personally, I think the above should parse as a link. Most people know (or should be pushed towards learning) that links need a space before and after.
We have to determine what 'most' people do, and from my experience, I would say most people simply paste a url into their post - a tiny fraction use the URL bbcode or click on 'link' and add it that way. :)
Some nice alterations there Brandon - will need to see it in the flesh to judge properly tho.
However a couple of points:
I don't think notifications should be marked read just on viewing the menu - as if users click on an item from it and then they'll lose what else is new :/ Would be better if each is marked as read as and when they view whatever it is the notification is about.
Also, do the links in this menu-notification go to the actual thing being notified or go to the notifications page? They should go to the actual item - not another page which you then have to click again to get to where you want. (Or maybe have a link to both: 'view notification' and 'go straight to quoted post' etc). The idea is to have as few clicks as possible to get to where you want.
Edited to add: Also, I think the green PM's notification should now be dropped and incorporated into the new notifications system.
For any forum where questions are asked then yes, I would say people will very likely want a quick way to find the 'best' (best rated) answer quickly and easily without having to trawl through hundreds of posts.
I would say the same is true for discussions where sometimes, posts can run into thousands.
For some it may be curiosity, but for most I would think they want the best answer fast.
There are already sorting options for viewing a thread with posts with X amount of points etc, however I feel it is missing the most important one, sort posts by number of points - so the most recommended posts are shown after the first post in descending order. This way someone can quickly find the 'best answer' to whatever was asked in the first post.
I'll add my support to this, specifically being able to put IP.C databases in separate sub domains, eg:
Even better would be further flexibility, such as:
But I'd be happy with just sub-domains. One thing I will add is that this feature would make IPC a lot more attractive to some of the more serious developers - having site areas split up into sub-domains is not just for aesthetic purposes, it impacts hoe search engines view each site area too.